A peek into Casa de Memoria’s eighth auction
Tales both imagined and true from Casa de Memoria’s Auction 8 collection
Sometimes we chance upon places where time and reality feel altered. At Casa de Memoria, it’s as if we’ve stepped into a wrinkle in time where furnishings from yesteryears look right at home. Here, guests stand at the threshold between the past and the present, with only the warm electric lights and the sound of vehicles coming from the street as their anchors to the present moment.
Casa’s story began last year, when its would-be director Angelique Lhuillier-Miranda was seeking to fill a hole in the landscape of Philippine auctions. Many auction houses had been elevating the local art market for the past half-decade, but there was yet to be a place for historical pieces—those which have made their way to Philippine shores from abroad. Casa de Memoria was created to become a house that deals not merely with antiques but also stories—a house that celebrates not only art but also its history. After all, its name literally translates to “house of memories.”
Walking into the Casa could feel like walking into a scene straight out of a fairy tale production, where Belle Époque candelabras could come to life at any moment to sing a song, followed by the dancing of silver cutlery from Portugal, held by invisible hands partaking in an invisible feast.
These are some of the pieces in Casa de Memoria’s latest collection of over 200 lots to be auctioned in September. The selection for the upcoming auction is intended for an audience of interior designers and home decorators, and was handpicked by the Casa’s resident curatorial team.
Also among the selection is a set of Cristalleries des Saint Louis. The set of liquor, wine, and water goblets is a representation of fine luxury glassware, with its mix of diamond, bevel, pearl, and star-shaped cuts.
Though provenance can be uncertain, there still remains an air of royal grandeur among the pieces. A vase-shaped neoclassical-style garniture clock, for example, preserves scenes from the past even as it gives the current time of day. Made in 19thcentury France, it shows a painted illustration of a landscape scene, where fine French ladies smile amid bronze mounts and gold foliage.
Then there are the objects that tell stories of their own. From France, the details carved on a Napoleon III-styled cabinet reveal an aesthetic grounded in purity, with the white doves and lilies inlaid in mother of pearl and bone—stark against the polished ebony. On a late 19th-century table, amid the bamboo, peonies, and jasmine flowers is a bird poised to fly, as if in search of a new home. A pair of porcelain Foo dogs sits upon pedestals, waiting for a new master to guard. They hail from
China, glazed in a hu bi pan or tiger skin pattern of green, yellow, and aubergine.
“One thing that strikes out to me in this auction is that in each piece, there is a statement, or a message,” says Casa’s marketing manager Camille Lhuillier.
Evidently, what sets Casa de Memoria apart from other local auction houses is their offering of historical pieces with western as well as old Asian origins. Integral to the auction house is a lifestyle that inspires a love for art. As a new addition to the auction scene, it aims to reinvent the traditional auction house by getting its clientele to invest not just on artworks but on a way of living. Its featured pieces hold uniquenique stories and characters, perfect for anybody body seeking to enliven their home. The lots are more than just home décor; they seek to o be given utility or purpose. This is the wayy of “Casa Living.”
“Even in today’s fast world, we can still make our living space beautiful,” Lhuillier says off the upcoming Casa de Memoria Auction .0008.0008. “And these pieces reflect beauty. I think it would be almost impossible to ever see items like these on the market again.”
Vista Alegre porcelain pot and gilded armchair from Portugal
Left: Limoges porcelain serving bowl, a pair of Louis XVI style candelabras, and mantle clock from France; American Brilliant period punch bowl; Queen Maria I style white glass bottle from Portugal. Above: Crystal glasses and decanters from France and Portugal; bar cart in brass and glass from France. Below: Ivory sculptures of Guanyin and Shou Lao from China; Vista Alegre vase from Portugal
Ivory sculptures, porcelain Foo dogs, and polychrome pierced ceramic tea pot from China; Vista Alegre vase and tea set from Portugal; English chinoiserie bureau cabinet